Officials say Bothell, Kenmore fared well during winter storm
November 26, 2010 · 11:45 AM
No major accidents and, generally speaking, no major problems were reported in either Bothell or Kenmore during the recent rough wintry weather.
In Bothell, Public Works Superintendent Nik Stroup said crews started spreading deicer on Nov. 20 and 21 in anticipation of the coming storm. As of Nov. 22, when the snow arrived in earnest, Stroup said crews began 24-hour plowing and deicing operations that lasted until about 2 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.
"Everything kind of went per plan," Stroup said.
He added that officials briefly closed two streets the night of Nov. 22 during the worst of the snowfall. But Stroup also said those two roadways — 228th Street Southeast and Meridian Avenue - were both opened again in time for the morning commute on Nov. 23.
Kenmore contracts for snow and ice removal with the city of Lake Forest Park. Kenmore City Manager Frederick Stouder echoed some of Stroup's comments, stating that to the best of his knowledge, Kenmore suffered no major incidents as a result of the snow.
Stouder added that his office had received maybe five storm-related phone calls, which he said weren't so much complaints as questions regarding when streets would be plowed. The streets involved were starred on the city's list of streets, he said, and eventually should have received attention.
Again as in Bothell, Stouder said street crews were on 24-hour duty for several days following the main snowfall. Stouder said to his knowledge no street in Kenmore was ever closed, though he added that in a couple of instances, hills were too steep and slippery for trucks to access.
At one point, according to information released by Lake Forest Park officials, crews gave up on plowing and concentrated on spreading deicer. The e-mail said extreme cold meant streets had frozen over and plows were having little effect.
All in all, Stouder said he believes the city fared better during the recent snowstorm than it did under similar conditions in 2008. For one thing, he said Kenmore purchased a snow blade for Lake Forest Park which only added to the ability of crews to respond to snow emergencies.
Overall, Kenmore and Lake Forest Park share four trucks with sanders and plows, one deicer truck with a plow and two additional vehicles with plows.
In Bothell, workers have a number of vehicles at their disposal: one 10-yard dump with a plow and sander; two five-yard dumps with plows and sanders; three service trucks with plows; one service truck with a sander; one anti-ice truck with a distributor; two backhoes; and one small tractor.
“You have to be prepared to do what you can do. (In a storm) all the rules of the game go out the window, but that doesn’t mean you don’t prepare,” Stouder said, commenting on Kenmore's winter weather planning prior to the Nov. 22 storm. He noted Kenmore city officials had some “tabletop events” with personnel from Bastyr University, the Northshore Fire Department, Northshore Utility District and King County Sheriff’s Office to discuss storm emergency operation procedures.
“We treat every snow-type event as an emergency event," Stroup said, again in comments made prior to the recent storm. "There’s a lot of preparedness and we ensure that we have all the necessary materials... The difference from 1996 to 2008 and 2009 is that we’ve beefed up our snow and ice operations today (with anti-icing methods).”
The area saw about two feet of snow during a 1996 storm.
Both Bothell and Kenmore have their snow plowing and emergency procedure plans available on their respective city Web sites. In both cases, crews generally concentrate on major streets first, then move to side streets as conditions permit. Both Web sites also contain some cold weather safety tips, including, on the Bothell site, how to keep water pipes from freezing. The Kenmore site has a long list of wintry weather suggestions, including what items to put together in an emergency kit.